When I think of Italians I think of fast talking, passionate and (sometimes) loud but the restaurant Lele in Millitärstrasse blows these stereotypes apart. Food is served calmly and without drama in a modern environment by a young team.
At first glance the menu is interesting. In addition to the well known staples such as Burrata and Pannacotta there are some great new things to discover: gourmet pizzas with black truffles or Stracciatella (the cheese, not the ice cream) pasta with a creamy duck sauce or octopus on a bed of potatoes all of which had my mouth watering. The prices are reasonable with generous portions so don’t be tempted to have a snack on the way there.
I was also pleased to discover that dishes can be easily shared. The pasta is brought to the table in a pot and pizza is pre-sliced so that everyone can help themselves. The dishes were lovingly prepared and presented in copper pots. In fact the pots were so nice I would have liked to take one home… A personal highlight was drinking wine from cut glass goblets. I really felt like a king.
But has Lele earned its place on Zürich restaurant scene? Definitely. My only criticism is the restaurant is slightly inconspicuous and could perhaps be somewhat brighter but the food had me convinced. Drop by if you are an Italian food fan but would like to see Italian cuisine from a different angle.
The proprietor of Lele is Leonardo. He is no stranger to the Italian restaurant business as his parents, Cecilia and Eero Meili, run the Cinque on the Langstrasse and both Toscana restaurants in the Niederdorf and Puls 5.
The pasta portions are huge. If you are eating the pasta by yourself or you are sharing as a side dish a small potion is enough.
If you fancy a midnight snack or a nightcap on the weekend this is the place. The restaurant is open until 4am.
Be nice to the serving staff. If you are good boy or girl they may reward you with a glass of Limoncello.
Eating on the go? There is a small takeaway counter where you can buy coffee or small dishes such as pasta and soups.
Instagram Suitability: The glittery holographic flower screams, “Instagram me” and there is enough light for a decent photo. 4 out of 5 flashbulbs.
Ron's Tip: If you fancy a special pizza experience give the truffle pizza a try.
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